TAMPA, Fla. - Dermis Garcia and Steven Sensley both homered, but the Tarpons fell short of a comeback as the Clearwater Threshers claimed the opener of a four-game series, 6-3, in front of a July 4th crowd of 2,260 on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
RHP Shawn Semple worked around a pair of leadoff walks in a scoreless first and retired 11-straight batters, taking a no-hitter into the fifth before Luke Miller lined a first-pitch double.
One out later, Rodolfo Duran brought home Miller with a single into center. Dalton Guthrie followed suit with a base hit to center, and Daniel Brito capped the rally with a three-run home run to right-center, giving Clearwater (11-6, 47-36) at 4-0 lead.
Miller added to the lead in the sixth with an opposite-field home run to right - his second homer in 10 games since being promoted to the Threshers on June 21st.
Semple (L, 1-2) struck out Guthrie to open the seventh before departing. The 23-year-old allowed five earned runs on six hits in six and a third innings, walking two while striking out seven. Semple allowed two home runs in one game for the first time in his career.
Tampa (7-9, 35-47) struggled against LHP Ethan Evanko, stranding two runners in the first, one in the third and a pair in the sixth. Evanko (W, 5-2) scattered three hits and two walks over six scoreless innings, tallying three strikeouts while logging his sixth-straight quality start.
After stranding two more runners in the seventh, the Tarpons broke through against RHP Kyle Arjona in the eighth. Oswaldo Cabrera drew a one-out walk and Garcia followed with a two-run homer, his 17th, to right-center. One out later, Sensley smashed a homer to right, his sixth, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
LHP James Reeves retired six-straight batters in relief of Semple before Matthew Kroon reached on a hit-by pitch with one out in the ninth. Kroon stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by catcher Jason Lopez before scoring on a two-out double by Guthrie, giving the Threshers a 6-3 lead.
LHP Kylan Killgore (SV, 8) got a strikeout to end the eighth and stranded a one-out single by David Metzgar in a scoreless ninth to close the game.
Diego Castillo (2-for-4, BB) and Cabrera (1-for-2, 2BB, R) reached base three times apiece. Garcia (1-for-4, HR, 2RBI, R) lead the Florida State League with 54 RBI and is now tied with Bradenton's Dylan Busby for most home runs (17).
The series continues on Friday at 6:30 p.m., with RHP Janson Junk (2-4, 5.16) scheduled to make the start against RHP Kyle Glogoski (1-0, 1.86). On Sink-or-Swim Friday, fans can enjoy all-you-can-drink Bud, Bud Light and Select Liquors for $20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.